In Search of the Rare and Elusive Purple Zebra!
Here at Truckin', we are constantly traveling the world, striving to bring you the rarest breeds and most exotic animals ever captured on film. This month, we take you to the mysterious land known as Bloomington, California, where there were rumors that a rare purple zebra had surfaced and was roaming the streets.
Not since the Chupacabra had our phones been ringing so wildly. Once, we heard that the sneaky animal popped up at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, but before we could get the creature in our camera's sights, it disappeared. As soon as we heard that the purple one had been spotted flexin' on all of the other rides in the streets of Bloomington, we sent our crack team of photographers to click off a few photos for the world to see.
Our search led us to a place called Mirage Aeromotive, where owner Kat Morris and her brother Shawn were busy churning out kickass Astros and Safaris fit with their now-famous Astro SS kit. Kat knew the whereabouts of the purple one and offered to arrange a meeting to examine the mysterious ride.
The first thing that you notice when you come into contact with the creature is its strange markings. Nearly every surface inside and out is covered with either House of Kolor Purple Passion or airbrushed zebra graphics. Naturally, the truck received the Astro SS kit, but as an added touch, it was molded into the body for the ultimate clean look. In addition to the 15-piece body kit, Mirage also added its rear wing and its stainless steel upper and lower grille inserts.
A few more additions before the paint included a pair of Street Scene mirrors and a smooth cowl from Pete Santini. Since the Safari was already at Santini's place, Steve Deman coated the entire truck with House of Kolor Passion Purple. Zebra graphics were airbrushed along the beltline of the Safari, beginning at the clear corner markers and ending right before the Astro SS emblems located on the rear quarter panels. For the finishing touch to the exterior, a pair of APC clear taillights was added with a pair of stainless Power Effects exhaust tips sticking out from under the roll pan.
Kat decided to go crazy with the purple and zebra theme when it came to the interior. The purple one's insides were completely stripped and the zebra material was used to cover the headliner and the window frames. For the door panels and the dash, the soft areas were covered with a combination of purple vinyl and zebra, while the hard parts were painted purple to match the exterior. The carpet is truly unique, covered with a base of plush purple, then a wide stripe of zebra running diagonally from the front to the back of the Safari. Finally, the six seats were stitched in purple vinyl with zebra inserts and piping and embroidered Mirage Aeromotive logos so everyone would know precisely who creates the wildest interiors around.
A Panasonic DVD with a 7-inch monitor was installed for killer sounds, and a Japanese-spec navigation system shows the way to the East.
Although she has produced many supercharged and nitrous-equipped vehicles in the past, Kat chose to leave the purple one alone in the drivetrain department. Only the Power Effects dual cast-aluminum mufflers and stainless rear tips were added to give the truck a throaty sound. This did not stop Kat's crew from adding a host of polished and painted goodies to the underhood area, helping to make it as clean as the rest of the vehicle.
The final area of the Safari that needed attention was the suspension. In order to keep the frame in close proximity to the ground, all four corners were outfitted with Firestone Airbags. The fronts were used in conjunction with the stock control arms, while the rear uses a four-link setup from Chassis Tech. The 1/2-inch line runs to the three compressors and the two 3-gallon air tanks that occupy the space where the spare tire used to reside. The purple one rolls on MHT Neptune wheels measuring 18x8 inches and sporting 245/40ZR18 Yokohama rubber.
Just seconds after these photographs were taken, the purple zebra went back on safari and into hiding. It has made very few appearances, but was last spotted on the other side of the earth in Japan, flexin' all over the local rides. Kat says not to worry because there will be plenty more unique rides coming out of Mirage Aeromotive, including a few choice PT Cruisers. But if you get the rare chance to see the purple one, be careful -- it's pretty wild.